By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
Thai Market is located on Amsterdam Ave between 107th and 108th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Thai Market offers separate lunch and dinner menus. The lunch special is similar to those at other Thai restaurants in the New York area. For under $10, patrons can choose an appetizer and a main course from a small selection of options.
The main menu boasts far more appetizers, as well as several salads, main courses, noodles, fried rice, and vegetarian options. The menu also includes “Thai Market” specialties like a fried whole trout, catfish fillets, half of a duck, and skirt steak.
There are also daily specials, which are offered at lunch and dinner. Of course, lots of establishments offer specials, but this is not something I see often in Thai restaurants.
In any case, I went for some old reliable items: steamed Thai dumplings to start (minced chicken, preserved radish, and peanut), then I shared one order of Pad Thai and one order of Kow Pad Kana (Chinese broccoli, chicken fried rice, egg, onion, tomato, and scallion).
The dumplings were a little bit on the sweet side for my taste, but the Pad Thai was excellent and so was the Kow Pad Kana. The vegetables were fresh and juicy, the meat was seasoned well, and the noodles were the perfect texture.
Almost every place does Pad Thai a bit differently even though the core ingredients are always the same and I loved Thai Market’s take on a classic.
The restaurant offers soft drinks, Thai iced tea, Thai iced coffee, pomegranate ginger ale (made with fresh ginger), and an array of tropical-inspired cocktails.
Part of what separates Thai Market from the pack of Thai restaurants is the space itself. Thanks to some umbrellas as well as the artwork on the walls, which depicts life in Thailand, the restaurant lends itself to a true marketplace environment. In fact, the atmosphere seems so organic that patrons can feel as if they are being transported into the heart of Bangkok.
Beyond that, Thai Market is no more and no less than a solidly reliable “good” restaurant. The service is quite friendly, attentive, and quick. The prices are run of the mill for Thai food, as is the menu.
No, Thai Market isn’t a destination unto itself. Yet, if nothing else, Thai Market ought to be a staple for those who frequent the neighborhood and that certainly counts for something.